Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Workers at American Crystal Sugar have been locked out; as long as scabs are working the members of BCTGM are doomed.

What I don’t understand is WHY the BCTGM leadership would put its own members through such misery like the American Crystal Sugar lockout without have given the membership the opportunity to decide if they wanted to occupy the plants when there is no point to be made with turning down management's "final offer" knowing there would be a lockout with scabs brought in?

The BCTGM leadership is aware there is nothing to be gained by workers refusing "the final offer" as wages are lost, many workers are not eligible for unemployment benefits as homes will be lost with families completely disrupted.

If BCTGM leaders are going to keep putting their members through these lockouts why haven't they insisted that the Democrats they support table anti-scab legislation?

Already deep frustrations and hopelessness has set in with BCTGM members as few members even turned out for what was billed by the union as a major demonstration: http://www.bctgm.org/ACS_news.html

All workers should be following developments in this lockout while asking why the BCTMG leadership did not allow the workers at American Crystal Sugar to once turning down management's "final offer" to go on strike by occupying the plants since long in advance American Crystal Sugar announced they would lockout union workers and bring in scabs to do their jobs at one-third the wages. The union leaders actually told workers they had to train the scabs over many weeks!

I feel sorry for American Crystal Sugar workers and their families as these union leaders have some kind of hidden agenda and are obviously using them.

Follow developments at American Crystal Sugar to see if you want to be placed in similar circumstances because lockouts have become a favorite method being used by employers knowing they can get scabs to work so cheap because unemployment is so high.

Here is the union's web site: http://www.bctgm.org/ACS_Lockout.html

What is interesting is that union leaders and management both support the same politicians.

Notice: In spite of all the tough and militant talk now coming from union leaders, no one is making any attempt to stop the scabs.

BCTMG leaders should have to explain their strategy and what they hope to achieve through this kind of non-struggle response.

Hopefully their will be a group of sensible rank-and-file activists who understand the workers are being misled and are doomed because unless the scabs are stopped this is a "done deal" because the scabs are the sons and daughters and family members of the Republican beet farmers who stand to profit from this fiasco since they are the owners of this American Chrystal Sugar "cooperative."

There are rumors circulating in the Red River Valley that BCTMG "leader" and AFL-CIO official Mark Froemke was paid by the beet growers to lead workers into this lockout.

What kind of union leaders agree to a seven year contract to begin with?

On August 1, 1,300 BCTGM members were locked out by American Crystal Sugar at facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa.
Honk4SugarWorkers.jpgThe company has processing plants in East Grand Forks, Crookston, and Moorhead, Minn.; Hillsboro and Drayton, N.D.; and packaging and transportation sites in Chaska, Minn. and Mason City, Iowa. Workers at these facilities are represented by BCTGM Locals 167G (Grand Forks, N.D.), 265G (Chaska), 267G (Crookston), 269G (Mason City) and 372G (Hillsboro, N.D.).

Contract negotiations to replace the seven-year collective bargaining agreement began in May. On Saturday, July 31 union members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s final offer – which included significant increases to workers’ health care costs and major changes to job security, including the right to outsource work, and seniority language. When workers reported to work on Monday, August 1, they were locked out. Their union contract expired at midnight Sunday.

Union members and supporters are maintaining informational pickets outside each location and are receiving tremendous community support.
This site is designed to provide information and solidarity to the locked out BCTGM members. Please visit regularly for updates, photos and other new information.

Would you want the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union,AFL-CIO representing you? 

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union,AFL-CIO "led" workers another such  lockout in Iowa where workers lost their shirts and were forced back to work after ten-months asking passerby's to support them by honking their horns and voting for Democrats.

All the speeches we are hearing from the big-shots in the labor movement blame this lockout on Republicans even though American Crystal Sugar and these union locals have been supporting the same Democrats AND Republicans. 

Mark Froemke, acting in his capacity as an official with the AFL-CIO, according to Dean Gunderson a leader of MAPE, advised workers at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant to accept the closing and the demolition of their plant as a "done deal" before a fight was even considered. Now this same union leader pretends that he is leading a militant struggle after leading them to be locked out. Froemke also led a vicious attack on people trying to unseat Congressman Collin Peterson the Republican pretending to be a Democrat which makes one wonder why Mark Froemke doesn't demonstrate the same enthusiasm towards stopping scabs from taking the jobs of his members. Froemke has promised the Democrats he has wasted the resources of the union on in getting them elected that no action would be taken to stop the scabs because the image that would be generated would not be conducive to Democrats being elected. Froemke is more concerned about the "jobs" of these worthless politicians who don't even have the courage to raise the need for anti-scab legislation than he is for the livelihoods of his own members.

All of this goes to demonstrate what happens when union "leaders" stepping into Wall Street's two-party trap with one foot; with the other foot they step into the employer set traps of "lockouts."

The road of class collaboration always leads to perdition.

Mark Froemke was one of the first labor leaders to warn workers in Wisconsin against a General Strike. Coincidence? Not likely.